Ganesh Chaturthi, the holy festival of the elephant-God, is celebrated for ten days with great fervour all over the country. The decorations of pandals, beautiful idols, lively cultural programs, and grand processions symbolize the richness of the festival of the God of power and wisdom. However, the chemicals used in the making of idols, plastics and thermocol used in pandals, garlands, and other non-biodegradable objects associated with the puja increase pollution and the toxic wastes harm the environment. Here are 6 ways to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in an environmentally conscious way without compromising on the fun:
Biodegradable Ganesha Idols:
Idols made of traditional clay are 100% biodegradable and would easily dissolve on immersion. Say no to idols made of plaster of Paris, polystyrene, chemicals, plastic etc and adopt the mantra of going green. Coconut shells and natural paints can be used to create your own DIY idols.
Opt for Tree Ganesha:
The idea dates a few years back when artisan Dattadri Kothur introduced it in Mumbai and it has become a quite well-known and attractive concept nowadays. The idols are made of natural fertilizers, red soil, natural colours and have commonly Tulsi seeds inside which grow into a plant. This is the perfect way to celebrate an eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi where instead of immersion in water bodies the idols can be potted and watered regularly for the plant to grow.
Keeping the decorations and festivities energy efficient is another step in celebrating an eco-friendly Ganeshotsav. Using energy-efficient lights, LED, CFL lights and replacing artificial lights with earthen lamps or tea-light candles fit the purpose wonderfully, plus add a touch of elegance to the decorations. Switching on decorative lights only during aarti or puja evenings would contribute to the cause.
No to Noise Pollution:
The celebrations for 10 days, especially Ganesha Visarjans, add to a great deal of noise pollution due to the blasting loudspeakers, thundering drums and grand musical processions. So while we try to reduce water and soil pollution by using eco-friendly idols and other items, we must also try to check the rising decibel levels.
Turning the volume of commercial music down and instead of chanting devotional prayers of Lord Ganesha accompanied by low sound instruments like Tabla and Mridangam, can be a great way to celebrate him as well as bid him farewell. We should also refrain from bursting firecrackers and make sure we cause no discomfort to the elderly, children or the sick.
Rangoli is one of the main attractions of the festival. Using biodegradable colours like turmeric, mehendi, henna, rice powder, and organic gulaal can reduce health hazards and would not affect the environment as well. Banning of plastic is a must.
Instead use natural flowers, paper flowers, cloth, wood etc for decorations. Banana leaves can be used instead of plastic or thermocol plates for offering Prasad. Proper disposal of waste should also be taken into account.
Most important factor to make eco-friendly celebrations successful is to make people aware of the necessity for the same. When it comes to festivals, people often tend to ignore rules and get completely invested in having an enjoyable time.
It is important to make then understand the true essence of Ganesh Chaturthi and how irresponsible behaviour on our parts may damage the nature irreparably. Posters and videos can be made for the purpose and even prizes can be distributed to communities for efficiently promoting awareness.
We at NewsAurChai Wish you a very Happy and Eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi.